I joined SLIC in October (CHECK) as a Project Officer to support a range of SLIC projects including the development of the new National Strategy for School Libraries. Having nearly a decade of experience working in libraries in my native New Zealand, I’ve been lucky enough to support several libraries in improving their voice and conversations.
SLIC is leading the development of the new National Strategy for School Libraries, which was outlined by the Deputy First Minister John Swinney in the summer.
It builds on the work of ‘how good is our school library?’, published earlier this year, and involves close collaboration with a range of key stakeholders and partners. A working group will be set up and the final strategy will be agreed and published for the 2018/19 school year.
Together with my fellow project officer, I’ve been delving into desk and field research, developing a bank of resources. We’ve also been working on surveys collecting data to provide a thorough understanding of the school library landscape in Scotland.
I enjoy collaborating with others to explore, develop and present the best stories and am looking forward to supporting the strategy working group in the coming months.
It’s amazing to experience the diversity, resilience and adaptability evident in all staff and sites visited so far, and encouraging to see the networks strengthening these. There is a real value in supporting and engaging our communities to allow successful connections and pathways to be created in the unique way that only libraries can.
While advocacy is a key issue for all libraries, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make our voices heard above other services in the face of further cuts and closures. Impact measurement is a key factor in advocacy and there is a large gap in this area, sector-wide.
SLIC is currently working to address this issue across the sector and support all our member libraries in making the most of their data and stats - telling the stories we all know, in the right way, to the right people. I’m excited to be supporting this work, building on my own experiences working with libraries.
February 2018 sees the launch of Muriel Spark’s centenary celebrations and I’ve landed the fantastic role of working with our members to produce events that celebrate Spark in style.
Recognising the contribution of our creative talent is hugely important to our Scottish identity and I look forward to discussing this with many of you soon!